Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute Names New Section Heads to Lead Vascular Medicine, Heart Failure

Heather Gornik, M.D., appointed head of Vascular Medicine, and Jerry Estep, M.D., will lead Heart Failure

Cleveland Clinic has named two physicians to lead the sections within its department of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Heart & Vascular Institute. Heather Gornik, M.D., is now the section head of Vascular Medicine, and Jerry Estep, M.D., is the section head of the George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Center for Heart Failure Treatment and Recovery.

Jerry Estep, M.D.

Heather Gornik, M.D.

Dr. Gornik is a nationally renowned vascular medicine specialist. Before this appointment, she served as medical director of Cleveland Clinic’s non-invasive vascular laboratory, one of the largest in the country.

As a clinical investigator, Dr. Gornik has focused her research on optimizing diagnosis and management of patients with peripheral vascular disorders. She’s been a co-author on important guidelines in vascular medicine, as well as numerous chapters in medical textbooks and articles in leading, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Gornik is internationally respected for her work in the area of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).  She serves as the Cleveland Clinic site principal investigator for the United States Registry for Fibromuscular Dysplasia, and her interest in the care of patients with FMD led to the creation of a the first-of-its-kind dedicated clinic for patients with the condition that has become a model for other institutions.

In addition to her clinical duties, she serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Vascular Medicine and is the current president of the Society for Vascular Medicine.

Dr. Gornik completed fellowships in cardiology and vascular medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where she also completed her medical internship and residency, becoming chief medical resident.  She received her medical degree from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She continued her education at Harvard Medical School where she received a master’s degree in clinical investigation.  Dr. Gornik completed her undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University, double majoring in public health and Spanish literature, and also received a master’s degree in biostatistics.

Dr. Estep joins the Cleveland Clinic from Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he served as section head for Heart Transplant and Mechanical Support, the medical director of the heart transplant and LVAD programs and the program director for the Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology Fellowship.

Dr. Estep is internationally known in the field of advanced heart failure with a particular interest and expertise in mechanical circulatory support. He has been actively involved in multicenter research trials for patients with heart failure, including work on the evaluation of echo indices to facilitate the management for patients with decompensated heart failure and research related to multimodality imaging to care for heart failure patients with LVAD’s. He is an author or co-author on a large number of published articles in peer-reviewed journals related to advanced heart failure, cardiac transplantation, and advanced treatments for amyloid cardiomyopathy.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas and medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas before returning to Baylor and Houston Methodist to complete his cardiology fellowship and his fellowship in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology. He was recruited to remain at Methodist as faculty.

“Dr. Gornik and Dr. Estep bring with them a wealth of expertise in research, education, leadership and patient care,” said Steven Nissen, M.D., chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. “At a time of rapid change in health care, advanced therapeutics and innovative uses of technology, their leadership and vision will keep the Cleveland Clinic at the forefront of cardiac and vascular care.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute is one of the world’s largest, most experienced cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery groups. For the 23rd year in a row, Cleveland Clinic was named the best hospital in the country for cardiology and heart surgery, earning the No. 1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2017-18.”

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 52,000 employees are more than 3,600 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2017, there were 7.6 million outpatient visits, 229,000 hospital admissions and 207,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

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